SPECIAL TOPIC: BOLDNESS (parrhēsia)

This Greek term is a compound of "all" (pan) and "speech" (rhēsis). This freedom or boldness in speech often had the connotation of a boldness amidst opposition or rejection (cf. John 7:13; 1 Thess. 2:2).

In John's writings (used 13 times) it often denotes a public proclamation (cf. John 18:20, also in Paul's writings, Col. 2:15). However, sometimes it simply means "plainly" (cf. John 10:24; 11:14; 16:25,29).

In Acts the Apostles speak the message about Jesus in the same manner (with boldness) as Jesus spoke about the Father and His plans and promises (cf. Acts 2:29; 4:13,29,31; 9:27-28; 13:46; 14:3; 18:26; 19:8; 26:26; 28:31). Paul also asked for prayer that he might boldly preach the gospel (cf. Eph. 6:19; 1 Thess. 2:2) and live the gospel (cf. Phil. 1:20). 

Paul's eschatological hope in Christ gave him boldness and confidence to preach the gospel in this current evil age (cf. 2 Cor. 3:11-12). He also had confidence that Jesus' followers would act appropriately (cf. 2 Cor. 7:4).

There is one more aspect to this term. The book of Hebrews uses it in a unique sense of the believer' boldness, in Christ, to approach God and speak to Him (cf. Heb. 3:6; 4:16; 10:19,35). Believers are fully accepted and welcomed into intimacy with the Father through the Son!

It is used in several ways in the NT.

1. a confidence, boldness, or assurance related to

a. men (cf. Acts 2:29; 4:13,31; 2 Cor. 3:12; Eph. 6:19)

b. God (cf. 1 John 2:28; 3:21; 4:12; 5:14; Heb. 3:6; 4:16; 10:19)

2. to speak openly, plainly, or unambiguously (cf. Mark 8:32; John 7:4,13; 10:24; 11:14; 16:25; Acts 28:31)

3. to speak publically (cf. John 7:26; 11:54; 18:20)

4. the related form (parrhēsiazomai) is used to preach boldly amidst difficult circumstances (cf. Acts 18:26; 19:8; Eph. 6:20; 1 Thess. 2:2)

 

 

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